Tommy Ahlers

Tommy Ahlers (born 18 November 1975) is a Danish parliament member. He was the Minister of Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education in the Lars Løkke Rasmussen III Cabinet and CEO.

Tommy Ahlers
Minister for Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education
In office
2 May 2018  27 June 2019
Prime MinisterLars Løkke Rasmussen
Preceded bySøren Pind
Succeeded byAne Halsboe-Jørgensen
Personal details
Born (1975-11-18) 18 November 1975
Copenhagen, Denmark
Political partyVenstre
Other political
Conservative People's Party
Alma materMSc, Law, University of Copenhagen
Known forthe Dragons' Den


Ahlers is best known for the social networking and mobile backup site ZYB, launched in 2005 by two entrepreneurs from Copenhagen, Morten Lund and Ole Kristensen, and sold to Vodafone Europe BV for nearly $50m in May 2008.[1] Before ZYB, where he has held the position of CEO since the company's inception, Ahlers spent six years in strategy and management, partly in the mobile industry. After ZYB, Ahlers invested in and became CEO of Podio in 2010. Podio was acquired by Citrix for $43.6 million in April 2012.[2]

He was previously with McKinsey & Company for more than four years, where he served as an engagement manager working with mobile operators to shape their strategies. In addition to ZYB, he also worked for another start-up which provided a global SMS-service to mobile users. Ahlers holds a master's degree in law from the University of Copenhagen, graduating in 2000.

ZYB was headquartered in Denmark, with offices in Cambridge and London, United Kingdom. The company has kept its Copenhagen base in the wake of Vodafone's acquisition, with Vodafone incorporating the firm into its Internet Services Division.[3]

Ahlers is a regular on the technology startup conference circuit, speaking at the likes of Mobile 2.0 Europe, DLD, the European Directory Marketplace Conference and TheNextWeb, where he was an award winner in 2007.[4]

Ahlers participated in the Danish version of the Dragons' Den. [5] On January 19 2016 he invested in Astralis, a top professional gaming team together with Nikolaj Nyholm, who is the CEO of RFRSH Entertainment, which in turn acquired the majority of Astralis in June 2017.[6]

On 2 May 2018, Tommy Ahlers was appointed minister for Higher Education and Science in Denmark[7]. He served until 27 June 2019 when the cabinet was dissolved and the Frederiksen Cabinet took over.

Personal life

Ahlers came out as bisexual in July 2018. Ahlers has two children from a straight marriage which ended in 2012. He said that he exclusively dated men after splitting from his wife, but began dating a woman last summer and they are still together.[8][9][10]


  1. TechCrunch reports on Vodafone Europe BV's acquisition of ZYB, May, 2008
  2. Citrix Systems quarterly earnings report, September 30, 2012
  3. Vodafone on the details of ZYB acquisition in its official press release May, 2008
  4. TheNextWeb hands 2007 award to Tommy Ahlers of ZYB Archived 2008-07-08 at the Wayback Machine, June, 2007
  5. Andersen, Katja Brandt; Nielsen, Morten (2 May 2018). "Her er Lars Løkke Rasmussens nye ministre" [Here are Lars Løkke Rasmussen's new minister]. (in Danish). Retrieved 3 May 2018.
  6. Tees, Philip (20 January 2016). "Danish backers invest big in competitive gamers". CPH Post. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  7. "Ministerpost til Ahlers har konsekvenser: Opgiver fire direktørposter". Danmarks Radio. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  8. Moore, Matt (4 August 2018). "Danish politician Tommy Ahlers comes out as bisexual". Gay Times. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  9. Jackman, Josh (1 August 2018). "Danish government minister Tommy Ahlers comes out as bisexual". Pink News. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  10. Dam Nygaard, Kristian (31 July 2018). "Tidligere minister overrasket over Tommy Ahlers' afsløring: 'Det bliver en kæmpe lettelse for ham'" (in Danish). Retrieved 14 October 2018.
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